Gamblers in Chelmsford assumed that the new high-tech betting machines would increase their luck in the betting arena. Unfortunately, the system has proven to cause exactly the opposite effect. Gambling has proven to be just as addictive as cocaine with betters losing £3 million in a calendar year.
Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
The new betting machines allow people to bet on virtual versions of popular games, but what they did not know was that every game had Fixed Odds, and the machines are popularly known as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals or FOBTs.
Gamblers are able to bet up to £100 at a time on virtual versions of games, even roulette, and blackjack games.
Gamblers awareness, a charity, released figures of the amount lost by gamblers across the nation showing that £2,868,482 was lost in Chelmsford in 2016 alone. Between 2008 and 2016, gamblers have lost £19,433,536 on virtual betting alone.
According to the Association of British Bookmakers claim that people spend more money on other recreational activities, like going to the movies and going out to eat. However, statistics do not support their theory.
Help for Gamblers
Currently, 13% of the money spent on gambling ends up in the pocket of bookmakers, even when people make bets through the FOBTs. This is why the ABB has increased their staff geared toward helping people gamble responsibly, and help people who fight against gambling addictions.
Other Options for Gambling
The rush provided by betting, using betting machines, and gambling in betting shops cannot be compared to other options, especially when a patron is addicted. A gambling addiction is not comparable to what is experienced in an amusement park, but those who are considered addicted are urged to fill their urge by using safer options, like arcades at the amusement park.
Fighting the Odds
In Chelmsford alone there are at least 15 shops where gamblers can make wagers. In these betting shops, 55 FOBTs can be found. The amount of cash these machines have taken in equates to £11,473,928. The actual amount that was wagered last year on gambling is thought to be closer to £61,687,784.
With the shear number of betting terminals, a person with an addiction to gambling may not be able to fight the urge. Because of the accessibility of the machines, placing a bet before thinking twice about the repercussions may not be possible.
Having a gambling addiction is more emotional than other forms of gambling so many people are embarrassed about speaking up to receive help. There are locations people can go if they are fighting a gambling addiction, and locations that teach responsible betting for those who are addicted. However, since it is such an emotional topic, addicts are less likely to seek help.
It is important to remember that bookmakers are required to pay 25% tax on any profit they make from the gambling machines, which was increased in 2014. Because of risk associated with gambling, campaigners are fighting to reduce the amount of money paid in per bet to £2.
With the number of people who have gambling addictions, people feel that legislation needs to be passed to help people overcome their addiction and protect those who do gamble from being taken advantage of.